Catcher in the Rye

Catcher in the Rye is a book of many themes of many different types of different things. The main character of the book is Holden Caulfield, this guy has major problems. He’s alone and he knows it, he hates everyone and judges them too. Some themes of this story are the sadness, the lies and deceit, and Holden’s youth. Every one of these themes describe Holden in different ways, mostly it describes what he’s like. SADNESS Sadness permeates The Catcher in the Rye. Main character Holden Caulfield finds nearly everything depressing, from receiving gifts to hearing people say “please. The conclusion drawn, however, is that isolation and alienation from others is the greatest source of unhappiness. The difficulty comes from the fact that escaping this isolation is a battle in itself – one that can often be, unfortunately, quite depressing (http://www. shmoop. com/catcher-in-the-rye/sadness-theme. html). For example here Holden wants to make connections with people, but to do so means to make an emotional investment that will probably end up depressing him.

Here, he seems to decide that he would rather feel sad about leaving a place than feel sad about the fact that he doesn’t get to feel connected enough to feel sad. What I was really hanging around for, I was trying … to feel some kind of good-by. I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don’t care if it’s a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t, you feel even worse (http://www. shmoop. com/catcher-in-the-rye/sadness-quotes. html). ” LIES AND DECEIT Deception in The Catcher and the Rye takes the form of what narrator Holden Caulfield calls “phoniness. This refers to anything and everything from pretense to social snobbery to language to appearances – all elements of the adult world as opposed to the world of phoniness. Disgusted with this falsity, Holden seeks to escape what he sees as the prescribed path of education, jobs, and money-making (http://www. shmoop. com/catcher-in-the-rye/lies-deceit-theme. html). Here Holden is not only disgusted, but also endlessly entertained by the phoniness around him. He emphasizes the sheer absurdity of such social performing. “At the end of the first act we went out … with all the other jerks for a cigarette. What a deal that was.

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You never saw so many phonies in all your life, everybody smoking their ears off and talking about the play so that everybody could hear and know how sharp they were. Some dopey movie actor was standing near us, having a cigarette. […] He was with some gorgeous blonde, and the two of them were trying to be very blase and all, like as if he didn’t even know people were looking at him. Modest as hell. I got a big bang out of it (http://www. shmoop. com/catcher-in-the-rye/lies-deceit-quotes. html). ” YOUTH The Catcher in the Rye presents a clear distinction between the world of children and that of adults.

Children are genuine, caring, and kindhearted, whereas adults are “phony,” self-centered, and generally “bastards. ” Because the story of told from the point-of-view of a disillusioned seventeen-year-old, we of course have to challenge the bias inherent in this perspective. The novel examines the grey area between these two worlds – namely adolescence – and the painful process of transitioning from one to the other(http://www. shmoop. com/catcher-in-the-rye/youth-theme. html). In this one Holden judges adults primarily on how they interact with and treat children. “The part that got me was, there was a lady … itting next to me that cried all through the goddam picture. The phonier it got, the more she cried. You’d have thought she did it because she was kindhearted as hell, but I was sitting right next to her, and she wasn’t. She had this little kid with her that was bored as hell and had to go to the bathroom, but she wouldn’t take him. She kept telling him to sit still and behave himself. She was about as kindhearted as a goddam wolf (http://www. shmoop. com/catcher-in-the-rye/youth-quotes. html). ” .

 

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